New Lab Helps Teachers Teach

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A brand new lab at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) points toward the digital future of graduate-level research and learning.
Virginia Roach, Ed.D., dean of GSE, and a vocal proponent of classroom technology, has been working on assembling the digital classroom since she began at Fordham two years ago. It opened last week at the Lincoln Center campus with the help of Fordham IT.

“The lab will allow us to provide real-time instruction without disrupting the ecology of the classroom,” said Roach. “It’s also brings us the opportunity to conduct research.”

The lab contains 360-degree cameras that can scan the entire classroom space. There are six tables with flat-screen monitors, cameras, and several unobtrusive microphones. Known as a collaborative learning lab, the setup allows six groups to work on projects together at the same time.

Meanwhile, in a back room nearby, a flat screen provides the professor with the ability to observe the six groups, either separately or at the same time.

The opportunities are manifold, said Roach. There could be six teachers, each managing a group discussion, or one teacher taking care of all six groups. In each case the teacher(s) could have an earpiece from which the professor could offer instructions without disrupting the ongoing class.

“We talk about teachable moments all the time, but we don’t have those moments with teachers unless we interrupt their classrooms,” said Roach. “This technology turns the prevailing practice on its head. It’s changing the paradigm as to how we’ll be able to coach new teachers.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.

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